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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Arts Wrap: SVST 2023 season, Whitworth does ‘The Sound of Music’

During its 2023 season, Spokane Valley Summer Theatre will feature an old favorite and two regional premieres.

Opening with “Grease,” Spokane Valley Summer Theatre will take audiences on a poodle skirt-filled journey with bad-boy Danny and girl-next-door Sandy and the rest of Rydell High’s class of 1959. Featuring musical classics like “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’” and “We Go Together,” the production will run from June 16 to July 2, 2023.

Next up, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s “Bright Star” will make its regional premiere. With a Tony-nominated score, “Bright Star” is “a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American south in the 1920s and ‘40s.” The show will run July 14-23, 2023.

Closing the season with another regional premiere, SVST will produce Jimmy Buffett’s “Escape to Margaritaville.” Set permanently in “island time,” “Escape to Margaritaville” follows a part-time bartender/singer who falls for a career-minded tourist through a string of Buffett’s most-loved classics. The show will run Aug. 4-30.

2023 Season Tickets go on sale Oct. 3. Tickets are $114 for adults, $108 for seniors and military and $68 for students with valid identification. For information, visit or call the box office at (509) 368-7897.

‘The Sound of Music’ at Whitworth

Whitworth’s theatre and music departments will collaborate on their upcoming fall main-stage production of “The Sound of Music.” Featuring students and alumni from both departments, the production will be staged in Cowles Auditorium Oct. 14-23.

Leading the cast, Whitworth music and theatre alumna Ann Benson’s return is a tribute to the late Pat Stien. A Whitworth associate professor emerita of theatre, Stien was a mentor to Benson.

“I’m still in touch with several of my music and theatre professors and, especially with the recent passing of Pat Stien, it has felt meaningful to put to use in this way the skills and knowledge I gained at Whitworth,” Benson said. “I have found the cast to be creative, hardworking and hilarious – rehearsals are a total blast!”

Other alumni and Whitworth faculty including Saint George’s School music teacher Cynthia Romoff, Whitworth professor of music Philip Baldwin and Whitworth director of choral activities Xiaosha Lin will also be participating on stage and behind the scenes in various roles.

“It doesn’t get any better than Rodgers and Hammerstein for orchestral musical theatre; one beautiful, memorable piece after another played by a full, live orchestra filling the theatre,” Whitworth director of vocal studies and Sound of Music musical director Scott Miller said. “This music is for everyone … young and old. The Sound of Music is a true classic. It stands the test of time and it bears repeating!”

Showtimes include 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 14, 15, 21 and 22; and 2 p.m. on Oct. 16 and 23. For information, visit Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for non-Whitworth students and seniors; and $5 for Whitworth students with valid identification.